Soncoz QXD1 DAC Review
Soncoz QXD1 DAC Review
SONCOZ Technology Co., ltd. was founded in March 2019 in Shenzhen, China. SONCOZ focuses on the research and development of audio-visual products such like Amplifiers and Digital to Analog Converters (DAC).
The Motto of the Company is “THE POWER OF ORIGINAL SOUND”.
The QXD1 is a pretty small but solid looking fully balanced DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) with various connectivity options such as USB-B, Toslink and Coaxial Digital inputs as well as Coaxial output. Moreover it features Analog outputs that includes a standard fully balanced XLR and a single-ended RCA. The QXA1 is equipped with a high performance ES9038Q2M DAC chip that offers up to 7 Digital Filters.
I would like to thank Soncoz for providing me the QXD1 DAC as review sample for review purposes. I am not affiliated with Soncoz beyond this review and these words reflect my true, unaltered, opinions about the product.
Price & Availability:
The actual price for the Soncoz QXD1 is 199.00 US$. More information’s can be found under the link below;
Package and Accessories:
The Soncoz QXA1 came in a pretty small cardboard box in white color with the brand logo on the top in silver color.
This box contains the following items;
- 1 x Soncoz QXD1 DAC (Digital to Analog Converter)
- 1 x USB Type-C to USB A cable
- 1 x USB B to USB A cable
- 1 x Product Manual
Design, Buttons and Build Quality:
The Soncoz QDX1 is a fully balanced desktop DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) with a pretty minimalistic industrial design. The device chassis is made from a single block of aluminum alloy material that features anodized surface. It is a quite compact devices with dimension of 149.3 mm(W) 87 mm(D) 37 mm(H) and has a total weight of 500grams.
The QXD1 has the same rectangular like the QXA1 amplifier that I have reviewed recently and is available in two different color options, which are Black and Silver same like my review unit.
On the top of the device surface is the Soncoz brand logo in dark grey color.
The front panel of the QXD1 sports four (4) multi functional hardware buttons, which are the TOS, COAX, USB and PWR (Power) buttons.
Details about the buttons are listed below;
- TOS: Optical Input Indicator (OPT) + Audio Inputs Switching Button
- COAX: Coaxial Input Indicator + Volume Down Button
- USB: USB-B Input Indicator + Volume Up Buton
- PWR: Power/Mute (Flash) Indicator +Mute Button
At rear side of the QXD1 are various Digital & Analog Inputs and Output interfaces, which are the Left & Right XLR and Analog RCA (Left – Right) and COAX outputs and the USB-B, Optical (TOS) and COAX IN inputs.
Here are also the USB Type-C power input, various fixing screws and Industrial & safety Certifications (CE, FCC, RoHS, etc.)
At the bottom of the device is a ventilation outlet and fours stands that do have rubber isolations feet’s.
The device has a very robust look and feel thanks to its all aluminum alloy chassis that shows a very high quality.
- Dimensions : 149.3 mm(W) 87 mm(D) 37 mm(H)
- Weight : 500 g
- Color : Deep Black / Space Gray
- Power input : DC 5 V @ 1 A
- Power consumption : < 4 W
- Signal input : USB-B / Toslink / RCA Coaxial
- Digital output : RCA Coaxial
- Line out : XLR / RCA
- RCA : Coaxial input
- Frequency response : 20Hz~20KHz XLR / RCA (±0.18 dB)
- Dynamic range(DNR) : A-W XLR > 122 dB; RCA > 122dB
- SNR : A-W XLR > 121 dB; RCA > 121 dB
- THD+N : 1 kHz XLR / RCA < 0.00014% (-117 dB)
- Crosstalk : 1 kHz XLR > 133 dB; RCA > 130 dB
- Output voltage : XLR 4.0 V; RCA 2.0 V
- Output impedance : XLR 200 Ω ; RCA 100 Ω
- N-floor Modulation : 4.3 μVrms
The Soncoz QXD1 features a Fully Balanced Circuit and is equipped with some nice hardware specs that I will now explain below.
A) ESS Technology 9038Q2M Quad DAC Chip:
The Soncoz QXD1 is equipped with a high performance 9038Q2M Quad DAC Chip (Digital to Analog Converters) of the company ESS Technology. The 9038Q2M comes with ESS patented 32-bit HyperStream® architecture, which offers a decent THD+N, Signal to Noise Ratio (SNR), Dynamic Range and Crosstalk performance.
The result is a THD+N of 0.00014%/-117dB, SNR of 121dB and a Crosstalk of 133db over the XLR & 130db RCA output.
The ES9038Q2M handles up to 32-bit 768kHz PCM, DSD256 via DoP and native DSD512 data in master or slave timing modes. Custom sound signature is supported via a fully programmable FIR filter with 7 presets, which are APOD, BRIC, FAM, FAL, HYER, SLM and SLL, simply press the PWR/MUTE button for 2 seconds to switch between the filters.
B) Input & Output Options:
The Soncoz QXA1 is a pretty compact versatile fully balanced DAC with 4-Pin XLR and RCA analog and Coaxial Digital output options, while it integrates USB-B, Toslink (Optical), Coaxial inputs.
Here are some values;
- XLRoutput :4.0Vrms@0dBFS
- RCAoutput :2.0Vrms@0dBFS
- Coaxialinput :24-bit/192kHz
- Coaxialoutput :24-bit/192kHz
- USB-Binput :32-bit/768kHzPCM/DSD512(Native)
- Opticalinput :24-bit/192kHz
C) XMOS XU208 for Native DSD:
The XMOS XU208 is a 32-bit multicore microcontroller that brings the low latency and timing determinism of the xCORE architecture to mainstream embedded applications.
The XMOS XU208 Chip inside the QXD1 supports up PCM formats up to 32bit/384kHz and Native DSD up to 512x.
Equipments used for this review:
Sources : Soncoz QXA1 & Soncoz QXA1
IEM’s : Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020, FiiO FD7, Meze Audio Rai Penta
Headphones : iBasso SR2, HiFiMAN Ananda
Albums & tracks used for this review:
- Adele – My Little Love (Spotify)
- Randy Crawford – On Day I Will Fly Away (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Hayley Westenra – Odyssey Album (Dezzer HiFi)
- Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Elton John – Rocket Man ((Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama (Deezer HiFi)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Really Slow Motion – Deadwood (Deezer HiFi)
- Jo Blankenburg – Meraki (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
- Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Ferit Odman – Look, Stop & Listen (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Photek – The Hiden Camera (Spotify)
- Muse – Hysteria (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
- Rush – YYZ (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
- Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)
The QXD1 shows a pretty detailed and nicely linear sound response when hooked to the QXA1 Amplifier from Soncoz. The lows are produced with a good level of authority and layering, while the midrange is in general transparent and detailed. The treble area on the other hand sounds nicely controlled and shows a decent sense of extension for a DAC and DAC + Amplifier (QXD1 +QXA1) setup at this price level.
The background of the Soncoz QXD1 is very clean and dark that makes it pretty easy to located the position of each instrument and vocal. The soundstage shows a natural expansion with good sense of depth and wideness, while the separation of instruments and vocals is on a decent level thanks to the clean background.
The Soncoz QXD1 review is based on my auditions paired with the QXA1 Amplifier. The review has been written after a burn-in process of 100 hours.
QXD1 + QXA with Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020:
The Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020 is a quite sensitive IEM when it comes to background noise, which proofs that Soncoz QXD1 DAC + QXA Amplifier combination has a pretty clean and dark background with very low amount of noise production. The Andromeda 2020 sounds pretty controlled with good level of depth and body in the bass department. The midrange shows a decent level clarity and resolution, while the treble area retrains the energetic yet controlled character.
QXD1 + QXA with Meze Audio Rai Penta:
The Meze Audio Rai Penta shows a mildly warm tonality with decent sense of coherency when I do listen to it with the Soncoz QXD1+QXA Amplifier combination. The bass is produced with a good level of impact and authority, while the midrange sounds slightly more emotional and musical compared to other sources like the iBasso DX220 or FiiO M11 Pro. When it comes to the upper midrange and treble regions, I can say that they are reproduced with a mildly bright character and in a nicely controlled manner.
QXD1 + QXA with FiiO FD7:
The FiiO FD7 pairs very well with the Soncoz QXD1 DAC + QXA Amplifier combination. The general presentations sound fluid and natural, while the bass is reproduced with a good level of speed and layering. The midrange still sound highly transparent and organic whatever vocals or instruments. The treble area on the other hand retrains a good grade of airiness and sparkle, while it is more forgiving to poor recorded tracks compared to DAP’s like the FiiO M11 Pro or iBasso DX220.
QXD1 + QXA with iBasso SR2:
The iBasso SR2 is another headphone that shows a good synergy with the QXD1 + QXA combination. The bass sounds impactful and entertaining, while the most noticeable positive effect is the better level of authority compared to portable sources such like the iBasso DX220. The midrange retrains a good sense of transparency and detail retrieval, while the treble range is shown with a better grade of clarity and definition.
QXD1 + QXA with HiFiMAN Ananda:
The HiFiMAN Ananda is a relative power hungry headphone that shows a positive response to a good source with powerful amplification. The midrange sounds pretty lush and organic with decent sense of transparency when I pair it with the QXD1 + QXA combination. The treble range on the other hand is reproduced with a good grade of airiness and sparkle, while the sense of extension was on an efficient level. The bass shows slightly better authority and a faster decay compared to portable sources.
The Soncoz QXD1 offers a decent value for your money with it’s compact size, great build quality and rich connectivity options. However, the best part is the sound performance and tonality that is pretty natural and detailed from the lows up to the highs, especially in combination with theQXA1 Amplifier & PRE AMP, which is another solid product of the company.
Pros and Cons:
- + Natural and Detailed Sound Presentation
- + Rich Input & Output Collection
- + Robust Build Quality
- + Compact Size
- + Decent Value for Your Money
- – A small screen and remote controller would be welcome
- – No charger included to the standard packaging
- – No Power On/Off button
Thank you for the Read!